Roanoke Church of Christ

Month: April 2011


First of all, let me say I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to what I’m about to say. We like affirmation. I like affirmation. So when my team wins I feel like I’m part of a winning team. Somehow. So when I read of a member of the Church of Christ who has made a public name for their self, I feel affirmed that I am on a winning team. Somehow.

It seems I’m not alone in this. I keep seeing these sort of things. And I like them. But my question is, why? Do I somehow need to be reassured that my team has some players that are good at sports, winning beauty contests, doctors of note, news people and politicians? The answer is apparently, yes. I say, “So and so is a member of the Church of Christ.” Why? Perhaps it’s because we (I) are a little insecure with who we are. There is no doubt that we may have our reasons, but we are still part of that family. We are here because they were there, good or bad.

If that’s why we (I) need to be reassured that people who have public recognition are on my team, we (I) need to get over it. As the Churches of Christ we have our place in the world of Christianity, and it is more than for “star” power. The following are excerpts taken from an article by Ted Campbell, Associate Professor of Church History, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, which was printed the Cross Lanes WV Church of Christ bulletin recently. When affirmation comes from a theologian, it is more than “star” power. It is entitled, “Here are five reasons why the Churches of Christ may be right after all.”

“First, they have a profound insight into Christian music and its place in worship. I’m not sure I buy the rational that says that because the New Testament doesn’t mention musical instruments, congregations should not be forced to sing with them.”

“There’s something utterly wonderful about the sound of human voices blending together in harmony. I wonder if we have gone too far with our instrumental fetish in worship.”

“Second, they’ve sure got the right name. If you think about, I mean think about it from the perspective of a friendly outsider, ‘Methodist’ and ‘Presbyterian’ and ‘Baptist’ are not really names for Christian groups. Even ‘Catholic’ sounds a little pretentious and ‘Orthodox’ a little snitty. ‘Church of Christ’ sounds pretty straightforward by contrast.”

“Third, the Churches of Christ celebrate the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. Churches of Christ folk haven’t fallen for Protestants’ quirky idea that words can suffice in place of bread and wine” (Campbell had attended the Preston Road congregation to write the report) “It reminded me of the simple prayers over the bread and the wine in the second century Didache document.”

Fourth, there is really only one Church of Christ. That’s one of the cardinal claims of the ecumenical movement of the twentieth century, and the Churches of Christ are way out front in making us aware of that claim. You don’t have to buy the ‘hard shell’ version of the Church of Christ to own that basic truth.”

Fifth, and perhaps most importantly, the simplicity of the Churches of Christ allows them to focus on what is most important, namely, the Gospel of Jesus. There was no congregational creed beyond the songs we sang…”

One visit does not a church make. But Campbell’s observations have to do with what he witnessed about that which we in the Churches of Christ may at times feel inferior. Campbell said the Churches of Christ had “not a lot of technological razzmatazz, not a lot of heavy emotion, not an elaborate or sophisticated liturgy, they just get the job done.” Another person may have found this to be quaint and outdated, but here is a teacher of theology who came away impressed. So I offer this just in case you may be feeling a little insecure, which we (I) need to get over. The full article and other related ones can be read at

CONCERNS: Eleanor Crush (cancer), Maci Winebarger is being treated for cancer as well. Jamie King is recovering from a car accident. Janet McWhorter is undergoing rehabilitation for breathing related problems. Randy Conner has what seems to be terminal cancer. Remember his wife, Debbie and family. Mike Breeding (heart related problems) and his wife are not well at this time. Joni Beach’s mother, and Helen Nicklas, as she deals with her heart related problems. It was so good to see her at church last Sunday. Joyce Matney, Ron’s wife has been having some stomach problems. Connie Crites father, Roger Fisher’s nephew in Florida (cancer), Wilma and Jenni Cullum, and Tim Elder. There are those still seeking permanent employment, among them are Joanne Elder and Erma Williams. The work of Health Talents Int, Bread For A Hungry
World and for the world itself as its people are torn with war, strife and need.

Monday: John 1:1-18
Tuesday: Luke 18;1-4
Wednesday: II Corinthians 1:3-11
Thursday: I Cor. 5:1-18; II Cor 1:23-2:11
Friday: Job 1:13-2:10
Saturday: Psalm 97:1-12

Monday: Matthew 22:1-22
Tuesday: Colossians 1:21-2:7
Wednesday: John 6:52-71
Thursday: Romans 7:1-12
Friday: Matthew 23:1-22
Saturday: Psalm 114:1-8

This is painful and awkward. As this is being written, Myron Dugan is taking the last breaths of his full, 90 year old life. The reason it is written now, on a Thursday, is because everyone who reads this and knows Myron and Vivian and what they mean to this church will be informed and can pray for Vivian and the family in this time of grief and loss. The next bulletin will be in two weeks.

Myron felt a little under the weather on Sunday, April 10 and even though he’d dressed for church, he decided to stay home. By the next Sunday he was worse and went to the Emergency Room at Lewis-Gale. He was immediately admitted with double pneumonia and a possible fungal infection in his lungs. By Monday evening he was in intensive care. Each day he grew weaker, but for those who visited, that strong, firm signature handshake was still there as well as a smile. By Easter Sunday things were not looking good and they told Vivian and the children there was no hope, that they would keep him comfortable until the time came. He slipped deeper and deeper into sleep.

As we all know, he has always been robust and active, so with all machines turned off, as was his wish, set well before he got sick, he breathed for several days on his own with just a little oxygen to keep him comfortable.

The Dugans have been part of this congregation for over fifty years. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in March. Their love story has inspired all who knew them, and their love could be seen in the way they looked at each other.

NOTE: Myron died at about 3:00 on Thursday, April, 28. Any funeral arrangements will be in the newspaper. Other things will be collaborated by the congregation when the time comes.


Thanks to some of us who were available and three paid workers from the Rescue Mission, as well as Jim Hunter, who borrowed a log splitter, we were able to clean up the area behind the annex and make it look good for the Easter Egg hunt.

The poison ivy has been treated and will continue to be kept under control now that we can get to it. There is still some more work to be done to finish it off.


“So you’re the newbie? What’s your name?”


“That’s a good Italian name. I’ll bet it’s Anthony.”

“Yeah. I was named after my father.”

“Well, Tony, my name is Philip. This is my last one. After today I’m transferring to another duty. I took this position because my wife wanted me in off the streets. She was afraid I’d be killed. What made you chose this job?”

“I need to be able to go home at night. I have a little boy who has some birth defects. It takes all my wife has to care for him and our other children during the day.”

“Sorry to hear that. Listen, one of the things about this job is we are expected to do it right. I take a certain pride in what I do. You see, being the person who takes another person’s life is an important thing. If you’re going to last at this job, and I’ve been doing this here and there for twenty years, you’re going to have to realize that being an executioner is not personal. We are here to fulfill the laws of the land. We don’t judge or feel anything for the criminal. They have been tried by the court and we carry out the sentence. It’s no difference than going to arrest someone. We carry out orders. We don’t make the laws.”

“I know. I also know we didn’t cause the criminal to do whatever it was that caused the them to be caught and convicted. But this being my first time, did it bother you the first time you were part of an execution team?”

“Yeah, and that was the last time I let it get to me. I couldn’t sleep the night after the execution. I made the mistake of looking into his eyes. He was just a young kid who had joined a terrorist group and killed one of our officers. He was just a dumb kid, but he committed a capital crime. There is no stability of law if people think they can go around killing police officers. But I looked at him. He was so frightened. His eyes begged me to somehow save him. His knees collapsed and he wet himself as the officers handed him over to us. He was sobbing and shaking all over as I spread his arms out and strapped them down. I thought I was going to be sick. To tell the truth, after it was over I was. But that was a long time ago. It’s not a matter of getting hardened to it, at least not for me. It was a matter of law. It has to be done according to the law. We live in a world of laws. Without law we would have chaos in the streets. People have to believe in and respect that fact that the laws are made for their protection and the betterment of society. So let me give you some advice, don’t look the prisoner in the eye. Now, I’ve seen some of them who stomped up as if they were stronger than death itself. I’ve heard them cussing and daring me to give them a chance at my throat. I’ve looked at them, hard. I stare them down and I’ve even laughed in their face. Those are the animals out there who have lost any humanity they might have had at birth. As time passes, you will be able to tell when they are brought to you if they are afraid or not.”

“Have you ever worried about killing someone who was innocent?”

“Look Tony, no one is innocent who gets to this point. If they aren’t guilty of what brought them here, they are guilty of what should have brought them here but they got away with. No one comes here with a clean record.”

“No one? What about that kid you talked about?”

“Okey, but he committed a capital crime against a police officer. The law says that is a crime worthy of the death penalty. And I agree. Sure, there are some cases where it is a first offense, but it is a capital offense. You have to keep in mind this has nothing to do with us. It’s the law and we are here to carry it out. One other thing. Some who do this like to be cruel and taunt the prisoner. I don’t do that. We both know what they go through before they get here. I don’t like to add to that. The law has spoken and that’s enough. Get ready, I think they’re on the way.”

“Philip, we both believe in the law, but what would happen if a brother, or some other close relative were sentenced to death on your shift?”

“That would never happen because I would ask to be relieved and it would be granted.”

“So there’s more to it than just the law. There are times when the person is more than just a lawbreaker condemned to die. And in each case there could be someone who is related in some way that feels pain for that person. I know the law has no heart, but people do.”

“Of course! But justice is blind. Justice only carries out the law, it has no heart or eyes. Now, when they bring him to us, lay him down and secure his arms and I’ll get his ankles.”

“Do you think anyone will be here to say goodbye to him?”

“I doubt it. Don’t you know what he was convicted of?”


“He’s the leader of a terrorist group who wants to overthrow the government. He has followers scattered all over the place.”

“Did he kill anyone?”

“No. But treason and terrorism is a capital crime. It’s simply a matter of killing the snake by cutting off it’s head. If there is anyone here to witness his death it will probably be only a few family members. His mother will likely be here. You can always see the mothers out there. There’s something about a mother’s love that never fades.”

When the man arrived, Tony made sure he didn’t look at the prisoner’s face. He concentrated on his arms and hands. He’d heard that some who are about to die have extraordinary strength.

“Hey Tony. This one comes with special circumstances. He’s got his own sign.”

“What does it say?”

“King of the Jews.”


Mary Smith was able to be with us last Sunday and she looked great! Eleanor Crush is receiving treatment for her cancer. She is at home. Pray for little Maci Winebarger as she recovers from surgery for very serious cancer. Jamie King, Stephanie Dixon’s boss’s daughter, has been moved to Raleigh Court Healthcare for rehabilitation from a car accident. She is expected to make a full recovery. Randy Conner has malignant cancer. Remember his wife Debbie and his family. Mike Breeding (heart problems), Joanne Elder and Erma Williams, as well as others who need employment. Joni Beach’s mother is about the same. Alan Beach had a good review at Mayo this time. Just a few places need to be watched and eventually treated locally. Connie Crites father is getting more and more frail each day. He has heart related problems as does Helen Nicklas. Roger Fisher’s nephew in Florida seems to be responding well with his cancer treatment. Remember Jenni and Wilma Cullum, Tim Elder, the people in the world who are dealing with strife, hunger, loss of homes and life, and the political unease in several
places. Remember the work of Health Talents Int. And Bread For A Hungry World.
A thank you card from Bryon Lewis, who made a presentation for the Gideons notes that we gave $545.00 toward placing bibles around the world. The card is on the downstairs bulletin board.

Monday: Hosea 11:1-9
Tuesday: Matthew 10:24-39
Wednesday: Exodus 16:1-36
Thursday: Luke 7:36-50
Friday: John 13:31-38;18:15-27
Saturday: Psalm 103:1-22

Monday: Matthew 6:1-18
Tuesday: Psalm 96:1-13
Wednesday: Matthew 6:19-34
Thursday: Luke 23:26-43
Friday: James 1:5-18
Saturday: Romans 8:26-39
The announced work day for Saturday was postponed due to the weather. So we are going to try again this coming Saturday. We need to do some cleaning up behind the annex before the Easter Egg Hunt next Sunday. This will be mostly stacking cut branches where we can cut and use them for kindling, as well as cleaning off the hillside and the area where the trees have been cut. In case of rain on Saturday, KW will be working back there a little during the week. This will be the kind of work for both men and women. Nothing really heavy, just moving limbs and such.

On Easter Sunday we will have our annual Easter Egg Hunt for the little ones. Holly Wagner and her helpers will fill and hide the eggs. We do not need any plastic eggs. If you will, bring one bag of any of the following wrapped fun-sized candy. Skittles, M&M, or Fruit Snacks..

The “hunt” will take place as soon as the service is over and it will be behind the annex and in the annex yard. It is for children up to the third grade.

Today, April 17, is Super Sunday. Hopefully the rains will be over and we can all enjoy the beautiful spring colors as well as the good food and fellowship. Be sure to stay for the meal following the service. You will also be able to see the difference the tree cutting has made behind the annex.

From Mary Smith: Dear Church Family, “Thank you” are two small words, but they express my great appreciation for your prayers, expressions of concern, your visits, the food and the money offers of help during my confinement.

To the church youth group, you made my day when I opened your card and read all your names! May God bless you.
In Christ, Mary Smith.

We also received letters from our ABC children, Luis Alexander Perez Nicolas and Nery Noe Perez Nicolas. They are hand-made and will be read this morning and then they, along with all the other cards, will be placed on the downstairs bulletin board.